I had a whole plan for my post today and then Michael Kaiser went and replied to my email in less than 24 hours! That, my friends is the definition of responsive. This man is running the nation’s capitol’s performing arts center, courting donors, blogging for The Huffington Post, and touring the nation to talk to other arts groups in need of help (among countless other duties). If he can reply that promptly to an email asking for his assistance (from someone he has met very briefly, once) where on Earth do any of the rest of us ever rationalize not following up on our emails/projects/prospects in a timely manner? Duly noted.
So, here’s his reply. I felt heartened after reading it because I think it confirms that we are on the right track with Synchronicity. All we really need to do is follow up more strategically on things we are already doing and talk about what we are doing in a clearer way to the people who matter most (our donors, patrons, and supporters). So, Atlanta, we now have the opportunity to raise the profile of the entire Arts and Culture industry (couldn’t be a better time, what with the pending legislation and all). Let’s make some collective noise. I’d love to hear your ideas. If you need some inspiration, I added the link to Michael’s most recent blog post for The Huffington Post below.
Amy (and please call me Michael)
You diagnosed your own problem beautifully: your institutional marketing has been aimed at your peers and not at your potential donors.
I suggest you make a list of 100-200 people who realistically could support your organization and then think of ways to excite/entice them.
Could you do some master classes? Is there a local celebrity who could host an event? Is there another larger, more prominent arts organization with which you can collaborate.
I published a blog in Huffingtonpost.com this week about creating events that excite the board and the giving community – please look it up.
You mention you were on the radio twice recently. Do your donor prospects know that? Did you send them a link so they could hear it?
I believe a good institutional marketing effort is about a sustained, disciplined approach to engaging a specific group of donors.
Please let me know what you are planning and good luck in your new home.